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Identity politics: we must not to allow differences to become permanent divides that separate us, says Lawrence Wong

There are groups with legitimate concerns in Singapore. "The challenge is to acknowledge and do our best to address the legitimate concerns of every “tribe”, without allowing our politics to be based exclusively on identities or tribal allegiances."

We may not find the perfect solution but no group will be unheard, ignored or excluded. In reality, all of us have multiple identities. Racial identity. Religious identity and many more. Being a Singaporean should never mean having to give up any of our other identities. But we are first and foremost Singaporeans.

'If we uphold this idea – that being Singaporean is a matter of conviction and choice, and that it takes priority over our other identities and affiliations – that would give all of us one important commonality around which to build understanding and trust; to negotiate our differences and find common ground on difficult issues; and then we can continually look for ways to move forward together."

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Police investigating Iris Koh and her husband for instigating others to flood public hotlines

The Police said they are investigating Iris Koh and her husband, Raymond Ng for instigating others to call and overwhelm public hotlines. These hotlines are not set up by the government for receiving feedback on its recent Covid measures. They are hotlines meant for people to call when they need help. 

Why deprive legitimate users from reaching these hotlines? The government did not set up any call to seek nationwide ground feedback as claimed by the group. The Police said they will not hesitate to take action against irresponsible persons who disrupt and overwhelm essential call centre operations or encourage others to do so.

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We need FICA because small states like Singapore are often pawns in a game of global influence

As a small country, Singapore is seen by larger countries as a pawn in the larger game of global influence. And indeed, we have experienced foreign interference in our short history, including attempts to stir people's feelings against national service back when the national service policy was just started and unpopular. Then Foreign Minister S Rajaratnam had described the Singapore Herald as trying to erode the will of the people of Singapore.

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The genesis of GIC is part of the larger narrative of how Singapore manages its reserves to benefit Singaporeans

Without substantial, well-managed reserves, our situation, whether in crisis or in peace time – would be in much more difficult.

In a crisis, our reserves are the bulwark that see us through safely. In peace time, contributions from our reserves towards the annual Budget gives the government the additional fiscal space to spend on priority areas such as education, healthcare and infrastructure.

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Ng Chee Meng

On the welfare front, after a Bill passed in Parliament on 5 October introduced new offences and tougher penalties for those who harass, assault or hurt officers carrying out their duties, security officers are also set to receive more protection. The Labour Movement has lobbied for these changes through industry consultations and through our Labour Members of Parliament. Good work in looking out for the welfare of our security officers!

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Singapore's death penalty for drug traffickers. Fair or unjust?

Singapore's harsh laws against drug trafficking are well known, not little known If a person is prepared to take the risk for the money despite the harsh consequences, then he must be prepared to face the consequences when he is caught.

“In Singapore before you land, the hostess or the steward will announce that there are very heavy penalties if you are found but more than a stated number of grams of certain prohibited drugs. And if you still come in with a few kilos of them, which will destroy hundreds, thousands of families, one death is too kind. Because you are killing that family every day for years and years and years that a daughter or a son is an addict.” - Lee Kuan Yew

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PME Taskforce

The joint NTUC-SNEF PME taskforce was formed back in October 2020 to engage PMEs, employers and various stakeholders, identify areas of support and look at ways to strengthen PMEs’ employment and employability. They have completed the work and have submitted their final report to the Government for consideration.

Earlier this year, Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam shared that employers in Singapore still harbour a bias against mature workers. He called on employers to “take the high road“, and make use of government schemes to hire and train such workers. A move that will benefit both workers and firms given the tight labour market.

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Indranee to Jamus: What matters is having wealth tax policies that work in each jurisdiction

"The question has never been one of whether we want to tax wealth but a practical one, of how to do so effectively such that it cannot be avoided easily," she said.

"At the end of the day, I think we do not have any issue with wealth taxes per se. We just want to make sure that whatever we put in place actually works. It must be remembered that wealth can move. Talent, both Singaporean as well as foreign, can move. Companies can move.

 So, we have to tax in a way that is competitive and allows people and companies to generate revenue in order to encourage them to stay here and that revenue can then be used and reallocated and distributed," she added. 

Ms Indranee pointed out that it is not about having more types of wealth taxes per say. Rather, what matters is having wealth tax policies that work in the context of each jurisdiction.

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